Geekery: Warner Brothers to Make a Joker Origin Movie

And they’ve assembled an odd production team to lead it – including Martin Scorsese as a producer.

According to Deadline the team so far: Todd Philips (The Hangover) is in the director’s chair and will co-write the script with Scott Silver (8 Mile).

Let that settle in a bit.

Ok, moving on. The movie is being billed as crime thriller set in Gotham in the early 1980s that feels more like the films of the era than another DC movie. This seems to be where Scorsese fits into the picture. Jared Leto will be reprising his role as the Joker in Suicide Squad 2 (which lost it’s second director earlier this month), but they’ll be looking for another actor for this project. Probably someone younger.

Not sure where on the schedule this will end up, but Philips and Silver are working on the script now.

In a way – post Dark Knight – the character belongs to one actor right now. In the same way that Han Solo is Harrison Ford, The Joker is Heath Ledger. Every actor that takes on the role will have to live up to that performance. It was just that good. That doesn’t mean it’s not possible, just very difficult.

Leto’s version was a total hit or miss depending on the fan you asked. Personally I think a lot of its failure was the movie it was a part of. He managed to be pretty creepy at times, but the whole thing was so disjointed it was hard to get a feel of the performance.

All of that said: the writing team that’s been assembled gives me no hope that this is going to be a worthwhile effort. They’re not up to the task, and there’s really only so much lifting Scorsese is going to be able to do here.

How about we just not?

  • euansmith

    This could be interesting. The first Hangover was a good laugh.

    I presume that the Joker in this film won’t be the character in the Suicide Squad, as Leto himself would have been 8 years old in 1980, and I assume his Joker was supposed to be low 40s or younger. So, unless this is film is going to be the Kid Joker Capers, it’ll have to be someone else.

    I like the idea of the Joker being philosophy rather than a person.

    • Txabi Etxebarrieta

      I’m not completely caught up yet, but in the rebirth line Batman discovers that there are 3 Jokers from his semi-omniscient chair. Not sure how it’s played out yet, but it’s a possibility.

      • dave long island

        3 Jokers??? Pfffttt… One good one’s all ya need.

      • euansmith

        Batman has a “semi-omniscient chair” these days? Is Metron likely to ask for it back?

    • KnightShift

      Interestingly, Leto said in interviews during Suicide Squad’s production that he believed the Joker he was portraying was much, much older than he seems. Maybe even elderly.

      • euansmith

        I think that Leto put a lot more in to his version of the character than ever made it to the screen 😉 Maybe getting dunked in the gunk has pickled him so he doesn’t age.

        Man, I’ve just remembered what a terrible waste of talent Suicide Squad was.

        • af

          Best Suicide Squad: “Task Force X”, the episode from the Justice League Unlimited animated cartoon. I’m being serious.

          • euansmith

            I’ve not seen that, but the cartoons tend to be the best written super hero films.

  • I_am_Alpharius

    Hahahahaha – Oh wait they’re serious…..

    Are Warners just peeing in the wind and throwing poo, like monkeys and seeing what sticks now? Seems DCEU is totally up a certain creek without a paddle…

    • BrianDavion

      well the X-men movies that have gone back into differant parts of time have been sucessful! so hey let’s copy that!

      • I_am_Alpharius

        Another franchise that is in a mess…

      • Randy Randalman

        And then derailed again with Apocalypse.

  • dave long island

    Pfffftttt… There’s only one Clown Prince of Crime, only one Harlequin of Hate, only one Green Haired Gargoyle of Gotham, and that of course is the great Cesar Romero! And good for him for not shaving off that ‘stache… lol

    • euansmith

      The mustache under the make-up really gave him a very sinister look.

    • BrianDavion

      I’ve often thought I’d have been intreasting to see if Mark Hammil could pull off a live version of the joker

      • dave long island

        Right on. I’d like to see that as well!

  • lonestarr777


  • Randy Randalman

    The best part about Joker is not having an origin for him. Today’s audiences (and studios) HAVE TO stop thinking that filling in more details is somehow a good thing. It does nothing more than demystify a mythos.

    • dave long island

      Spot on.

    • af

      This. A thousand times this.

      I’ll offer the controversial notion that it is us nerds who ruin everything. We always want details, more details. We DEMAND explanations for everything, every character and organization, no matter how tangential to the story, must be thoroughly explained and detailed in prequels, sidequels and whatnot. But this is bad! Good storytelling thrives on mystery. Stories, much like ladies, must keep some secrets to remain sexy. Secrets and unexplained stuff allow the viewer to fill in details with his/her own imagination. Also, the additional details we’re given are often extra-detailed to the point of absurdity, and not all that interesting to begin with. This also leads to franchises attempting to live way past their expiration date.

      No. Just say no. We don’t need backstories or origin stories (as an aside, please let Alien franchise die in peace) or prequels to the sequels of the pre-sequels.

    • NNextremNN

      Wait what? Didn’t a rather “normal” criminal fell into a chemical bath during a fight with batman and the chemicals bleached his skin and the fumes turned him crazy? Also Gotham teases some things about his origin just not in a very specific way.

      • euansmith

        I’ve not read the comics for a while; did they pick up the Scarecrow Gas idea from the first Nolan Batman? I thought that was a genius way to explain why Gotham contains all these totally nuts criminals. Victims of the Scarecrow, driven insane by their own darkest fears covers pretty much all of the Batman’s Rogues Gallery.

    • euansmith

      I really liked that Heath Ledger’s Joker kept on lying about his past. It could be cool if this Joker Origins was treated like Rashomon, with conflicting views of events from multiple points of view.

      • af

        Agreed! This was also the approach of the animated cartoons, wasn’t it?

  • Sleeplessknight

    “Oh wow, a Joker origin story? I’m really looking forward to this”…. Said no one ever.

  • uatu13

    WB has no idea what they’re doing with the DC movies anymore. The first slew of flicks are almost unwatchable, now they’re changing the tone of their shared universe while making movies that aren’t tied into that universe with completely different actors for concurrent roles? What a confusion mess!

  • af

    Warner Brothers: please no.